Vallone Dad & Son Endorse Bloomberg
Two prominent members of the Queens Democratic political community, former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., and his son, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., announced their endorsements of Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, citing the incumbent's tough stance on crime as their primary reason for calling for Bloomberg's re-election.
Both Vallones have been tough-on-crime lawmakers: Vallone Sr. initiated the Safe Streets Safe City program while in office, and the councilmember, who succeeded his father as the Astoria representative, has been chair of the Public Safety Committee since first elected to the council eight years ago. In that position, he has authored many anti-crime measures and is one of the council's strongest voices for anti-graffiti legislation.
Vallone Sr., who served before Bloomberg was elected, stated in his endorsement, "Mayor Bloomberg brought this city back from the brink after 9/11, and he is the only person capable of getting us through the current worldwide recession. And despite the adversity he has faced, we are still seeing lower and lower crime rates in neighborhoods across our city."
Vallone Jr., who is running for re-election to a third term, declared: "Under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg, we have seen historic drops in just about every type of crime. Despite the financial
crisis, Mike has never given an inch when it comes to keeping New Yorkers safe. He's a leader that focuses on progress, and with four more years I know he can make our city even better." The mayor, who endorsed Paul Vallone, another member of the family, in Paul Vallone's losing the city council primary in Bayside recently, stated in response to the dual endorsements: "Block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, New Yorkers are putting progress before politics because they know how far we've come in the last eight years. The Vallone family has done this city a tremendous amount of good for generations now, and I am extremely proud to have their support. I look forward to working with both of them as we build on the work we've done together and make our city even better than it is today."
The mayor's endorsement announcement stated that under his leadership, crime in the city has dropped to near 40-year lows with a nearly 30 percent reduction in crime across the city. An important factor leading to these crime decreases has been the mayor's crackdown on illegal guns in the city.
SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND ENDORSE THOMPSON: The mayor's election opponent, city Comptroller William Thompson, meanwhile, announced a pair of new endorsements from New York's two United States Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. However, they didn't throw any brickbats at Bloomberg.
Schumer stated: "I'm not going to say anything negative about Michael Bloomberg. I'm just talking positively about Bill Thompson. That's what I've always done."
Gillibrand's endorsement of Thompson was reported in several dailies.
Following the runoff elections for Councilmembers John Liu (Comptroller) and Bill de Blasio (Public Advocate), Thompson joined with his Democratic team members to predict a Democratic sweep of the November 3 elections.
Thompson declared, "You're going to see the three of us often, working together, campaigning together, talking about a unified future for New York City."
All three have campaigned against Bloomberg's lead role in changing the term limits law so he could run for a third term.
Thompson noted, "We stood together to say how wrong it was what the mayor was trying to do. On November 3, we have a chance to send another strong message."
LIU FAVORED TO WIN ELECTION: Councilmember John Liu enters the general elec-
tion campaign as a strong favorite to win and becomethe first Asian American to hold a major citywide office.
Commenting on his primary/runoff victories, Liu stated: "During the long and hard-fought campaign, we focused on the issues and the challenges in a difficult economy and on my qualifications for the office. Along the way, we won the strong support of New Yorkers of different ethnicities, race, religion and sexual orientation. I am proud of the synergy we unlocked with the broad coalition we built."
There has been some criticism in the press about the influence of the Working Families Party (WFP) and municipal workers' unions in the Liu campaign, some of it unfounded, we think.
Liu and de Blasio are both strong favorites to win election because they occupy the Democratic Party line on the ballot, which has by far a greater amount of voters expected to carry Liu and de Blasio to victory.
In that case, the WFP's voice and influence will not be as great as some might think because the Dems will also be there to try to influence the elected officials.
In any case, Liu appears to be trying to downplay the WFP influence in his campaign victories, according to other press reports.
GOP COMPTROLLER CANDIDATE ATTACKS LIU: Joe Mendola, the Republican candidate for city comptroller, congratulated Democrat John Liu on his victory in winning the nomination, but said he is looking forward to debating not only the crucial fiscal issues facing the city but also the personal and professional qualifications of himself and his opponent.
"Mr. Liu's record and statements expose very serious questions about his integrity and honesty, two crucial qualities that any comptroller candidate must have," Mendola stated. "Whether it's his description about his childhood, his accomplishments in the city council or the source of his campaign funds, John Liu's actions reveal a consistent pattern of a very ambitious politician who will say and do whatever is necessary to advance his personal political agenda," Mendola added.
Mendola said he will offer "an alternative, a comptroller who has real, private enterprise-based, fiscal, legal and compliance experience".
Liu has worked as an actuary at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Towers Perrin and earned a degree in mathematical physics.
ZABLOCKI READY TO RUN: For the past year, Alex Zablocki, a financial services representative who is the Republican candidate for Public Advocate, got ready for his campaign by, he said, "working hard meeting voters in every borough for the past year, talking at forums, participating in debates and spreading our positive message about the future of New York City".
"Over the next 35 days, I will be hitting the streets, going door-to-door and engaging voters in all five boroughs about my candidacy for Public Advocate," Zablocki said. In short, he's ready to meet the voters and opponent Bill de Blasio to hash out the issues, the Staten Island homeowner says.
SCRAP RUNOFF ELECTIONS?: It cost
Assemblymember Grace Meng and her husband, Dr. Wayne Kye, hold their newborn son, Brandon born September 15 at New York Hospital Queens shortly after Meng voted in the primary election. about $15 million to hold last Tuesday's runoff elections, which brought out only about 228,000 voters, and the high cost/low turnout combination is stirring talk about scrapping these special elections.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who chairs the senate Elections Committee, said after the two elections that he will hold public hearings to get an idea of how popular or unpopular they are.
But as for how far Addabbo was concerned, he said he felt, "We could have spent that money on seniors, children and education or health care."
One of the complaints about the runoffs is that the candidates who lead in the voting in the regular primary, usually wind up winning the runoff also. That happened again this time as Liu, who won the regular Comptroller primary by 38 to 31 percent, and de Blasio, who won the Public Advocate primary by an even bigger margin, both won the runoffs easily.
The runoffs are called for when the winner of a citywide primary does not get 40 percent of the vote.
MENG HAS BABY BOY: On Primary Day, September 15, Assemblymember Grace Meng went to vote with her husband, Dr. Wayne Kye, and from there to New York Hospital of Queens where the lawmaker gave birth to a son, Brandon, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces.
Our best wishes to the family, they reside in Flushing.